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Grants to South Dakota Arts Nonprofits and Agencies to Support General Operations


Geographic Focus

USA: South Dakota

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Arts Challenge Grant/General Operating Support Grants

South Dakota Arts Council (SDAC)

Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #171283

Grant Description

Grants to South Dakota nonprofit organizations and government agencies to support general operations. Funding is intended to assist arts organizations and promote activities and programs that enhance the local quality of life for residents. The goal of the grant program is to help arts nonprofits present a season of activities in any arts discipline(s) that serve the general public and meet the specific needs of the applicant organization.

Organizations will apply in one of two categories:

  • Category #1: Organizations with annual budgets of $120,000 or more
  • Category #2: Organizations with annual budgets between $20,000 and $119,999.

Council Goals:

  • Increase public awareness and support of the arts.
  • Advance the arts as essential to learning.
  • Raise the standards for access and inclusion in the arts.
  • Support artists through inclusive programs and networks.
  • Strengthen arts organizations as partners in education, community, and economic development.
  • Position the arts as essential to South Dakota Tourism.

The funding category is designed to:

  • Create and sustain partnerships with South Dakota arts organizations that share the public values and support the long-range goals of the South Dakota Arts Council.
  • Sustain arts organizations by offering general operating support.
  • Recognize and assist arts programming and services that contribute to the quality of life in the applicant’s community or region.
  • Reward arts organizations that produce creative and innovative arts activities.
  • Encourage long-range planning efforts of nonprofit arts organizations.

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  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Grants may be awarded to organizations, including local arts councils:
- Whose legal address is South Dakota.
- That have existed for a minimum of 4 years.
- That have their own board of directors.
- Whose annual operating budget is at least $20,000.
- That are designated as federally tax-exempt under the IRS Section 501(c)(3) or are permanently under the auspices of a qualified nonprofit organization or are units of government.
- Whose mission statements clearly identify themselves as arts organizations.
- Whose seasons include a series of at least 4 arts activities open to the general public.

Organizations that for logical reasons share a tax ID number with another nonprofit organization are eligible to apply for an Arts Challenge Grant provided that the relationship between the organizations is real and not contrived merely for the purpose of each writing a separate grant proposal. Appropriate examples include but are not limited to (1) an organization that functions independently but has a legal working relationship with a parent company whose tax number it shares; (2) a consortium of separate organizations each with its own board of directors which for fiscal purposes share the same tax number. In addition, the financial records relating to any and all SDAC grant activities are separately maintained and demonstrate each organization’s autonomous, financially independent status.

Organizations that do qualify for an Arts Challenge Grant may elect to apply for a Project Grant in support of one particularly innovative or creative project rather than apply for a Challenge Grant to support an entire season. No organization, however, may receive both a Challenge Grant and a Project Grant.

Organizations that do not meet the nonprofit eligibility standards outlined above are ineligible to apply.

Schools, colleges, universities, and historical museums are not eligible to apply for Arts Challenge Grants; however, these institutions or departments within them are eligible to apply for Project Grants in support of appropriate arts programming.

Arts Challenge Grant recipients are ineligible to apply for Project Grants.

Pre-Application Information:

The application deadline is March 1, 2022, by midnight.

The draft review deadline closes at 11:59 PM CST, Feb. 6, 2022. SDAC staff members offer a draft review prior to final grant submission deadlines to help applicants improve their applications by checking for mistakes or omissions that might cause ineligibility. Staff will review the grant narrative, budget section, and support materials for compliance and consistency. SDAC staff will provide feedback to the applicant in time to make corrections ahead of the submission deadline.

Additional information:

Funding Opportunities:



Application tutorial:

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Size of Grant:

Applicants may request up to 10% of their total eligible cash operating expenses from the most recently completed fiscal year as verified on the financial statement submitted with the application.

Term of Contract:

Arts Challenge Grants will be awarded on an annual basis for a 2-year period. Although Challenge Grants are awarded for a 2-year period, applicants should base their requests on a single fiscal year. Pending federal and state appropriations, Arts Challenge grant recipients will receive the same award each year of the 2-year grant cycle. Should appropriations be increased, reduced, or eliminated, second-year grant awards may reflect such action.

Contact Information:

Apply online:

South Dakota Arts Council staff are available to answer your grant questions by phone (605-773-3301) or email:

- Kate Vandel, Arts Grant Specialist:
- Patrick Baker, Director:
- Rebecca Cruse, Deputy Director:
- Sarah Carlson, Arts Program Specialist:

South Dakota Arts Council
711 E Wells Ave
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: 605-773-3301

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